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S. Korea to further nurture insects industry

South Korea's agricultural ministry said Thursday it plans to expand the size of the insects market to 140 billion won ($124 million) by 2025 and foster the segment as a new growth engine for the country's food industry.

The targeted market value marks 55 percent growth from 2019, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

"We plan to further speed up the growth of the industry and develop new environment-friendly protein sources using insects, which can contribute to solving food shortages in the future," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it has been making efforts to induce more businesses to jump into the industry, with the number of insects approved for consumption reaching nine in 2020, up from just three tallied in 2016.

The number of farms and companies engaged in the insects industry came to 2,535 in 2020, posting a sharp growth from 908 posted in 2015. (Yonhap)